Hi Everyone, Welcome back!!! We just finished up the third day of week 4 and let me tell you it’s been another FUN week!!! Got lucky with the weather too! When I left my dock on Tuesday morning to head to Phil Foster Park it was a little wet, but by the time I arrived [...]
Hi Everyone, Welcome back!!!
We just finished up the third day of week 4 and let me tell you it’s been another FUN week!!! Got lucky with the weather too! When I left my dock on Tuesday morning to head to Phil Foster Park it was a little wet, but by the time I arrived at Phil Foster Park the sky was clearing. Good thing too cause I could tell this weeks group of Adventurers was raring to go, no matter what the weather was going to be! As soon as AdventureRachel, Amanda, Brendan, Brian, Robert, Michael and Christopher were on board I could tell it was going to be another great week! Their enthusiasm and excitement was contagious!!! Since it was still a little cloudy out to the south, we decided to head north to Munyon Island and start the day with an island hike and a bit of Adventure.
Before I had a chance to even drop anchor, this group was ready to go!!! We hopped out and headed up the boardwalk trail and before long we were on our way to the backside of the island to see what we could find. This trail was relatively new and took us past a big stand of Ficus and Sea- grape trees, thru a mangrove estuary, along a salt marsh prairie and eventually out along the northeast side of the island. It was a beautiful hike and along the way we saw wild coffee plants, knickerbean trees, ospreys, giant blue land crabs, monarch and zebra butterflies, a number of lizards and a few big banana spiders high up in the trees. We searched the shallow flats and found dozens of sea grass hermit crabs in a variety of beautiful shells, hundreds of juvenile blue crabs, but no luck finding any live horseshoe crabs. I was hoping to find a few but they are not too common around here anymore. We found a half dozen or so molts from them which we checked out and AdventureBrendan and Christopher kept one each for a souvenir. Nice Big ones too! After an hour or so we headed back to the boat and went to the Rock Garden for a bit of snorkeling.
The tide was incoming, the water crystal clear and the Rock Garden was full of fish, as usual! Within the last week the big schools of Menhaden arrived and we had a wonderful opportunity to swim through large schools of snook and small barracudas on the prowl for an easy meal. It was just great to watch the fish swirl around us by the thousands! We saw hundreds of snappers, grunts, seargent majors, porkfish, Bermuda chub and parrotfish, etc and even a nice small yellow ray without a tail or barb. Looked like a swimming yellow spotted “dinner plate”. I tried to catch it by hand but no luck. It was too slippery to hold on to. AdventureChristopher gave me the “thumbs up” for trying though!
The second day we stopped by the Big Sandbar to do a bit of snorkeling over the shallow bar and found quite a few large Mantis Shrimp peaking out of their tunnels at us. We tried to bait a few out but they were more wary than I had hoped. Maybe next time… We all found dozens of Florida and West Indian fighting conchs, short-spined sea urchins and numerous olive shells sliding across the bottom. We chased a few small barracudas out of the shallows just to show them who was “boss” then decided to head out along the beach since the ocean was flat calm.
We had barely made it around the Jetty when right before us was tremendous splash. A second later a group of Bottlenose Dolphin leaped out of the water and began chasing a school of houndfish right off our bow. The houndfish would race, skipping along the surface with the Dolphin in hot pursuit!! We watched as the Dolphin caught one houndfish after another and ate them right before our eyes. Let me tell you, our group of Adventurers were loving this!!! Wish you could have been there to hear their excitement!!! It was just GREAT!!! And just as this was coming to an end, a large Loggerhead Sea Turtle came up for a few quick breaths of air right beside the boat, gave us a quick once over as if checking us out, then lazily swam back towards the bottom. We were having a Blast!!! Love it like this!!! We spent the last hour snorkeling along the beach for shells and body surfing the boat wakes when they would come by. Does it get any better than this?
Today was our fishing day and we were joined by AdventureDakota from last Summer who caught a nice big red grouper the last time he was along! We dropped anchor on my secret spot and as soon as the bait hit the water we were having bites! AdventureAmanda caught the first fish, which by chance was her very first fish ever, so I had to definitely take a picture of that! Nice Job Amanda!!! You Rock!!!
It wasn’t long after that before the whole gang was having them on. All at the same time of course!!! And boy was I missing my helper AdventureNicholas today!! He’s great with kids, fishing, boating, baiting the hooks, rigging the lines, taking off the fish and cleaning the boat, etc. but he over slept and missed the boat. And let me tell you that left me EXTRA busy today. We’ll have to make sure to give him a little “grief” next time we see him just to let him know he was missed!!! Good thing Rachel, Brendan, Amanda and the rest of the gang were quick to learn how to bait their own hooks and take off the fish to give me a hand. I had to move the boat a few times to stay on the fish, but it was non stop from start to finish as usual. I think AdventureDakota may have caught the most fish, AdventureBrendan caught two at once and AdventureAmanda caught the biggest. A nice Margate that fought hard!!! Good job!!! A bit later Dakota was reeling in a nice snapper when a tremendous barracuda decided to have it for lunch and he did a superb job fighting that for quite a while before it bit thru the line. Nice job there too!!! It was nice to see that everyone caught fish and had non stop action as usual!!!
The last hour of the day we went back out to the beach for some snorkeling, sea glass and shell collecting and competitive game of “chicken fighting”. Amanda and Rachel against Brendan and Brian, and I have to say in my opinion the girls won! It was great fun for all and a wonderful way to end the day and burn off any excess energy!!! I can tell you that not one of us was ready to call it a day!!! We were having too much FUN!!! The really nice thing though, is that we have one more day left, and who knows what we may find and discover then!!! I can promise you one thing, we are going to have a BLAST!!! Am thinking about starting the day at the Rock Garden and catching all kinds of fish with nets. Know we will have a ball doing that! Stay tuned to see what we discover and the fun we’re going to have!!! Wish you could join us!!! It’s going to be great!!!
LET”S GO HAVE SOME FUN!!!
Hi All, I had no sooner finished up the first adventure session and readied the boat when I was joined by my second group of eager and excited Adventurers that in turn were ready for the Fun to begin!!! And so was I!!! AdventureSheri came along to help me with this weeks afternoon Adventure and [...]
Hi Everyone, Welcome Back! We just finished up the first day of another new and wonderful adventure session and as usual we had an absolutely fantastic time! It was perfect from start to finish! Just the way I love it!!! AdventureJonah, Annie, Allison and Nicholas came back for some more adventuring and the four of [...]
Welcome Back! We just finished up the first day of another new and wonderful adventure session and as usual we had an absolutely fantastic time! It was perfect from start to finish! Just the way I love it!!! AdventureJonah, Annie, Allison and Nicholas came back for some more adventuring and the four of us were joined by five new adventurers, Adventure Emily, Katie, McKenzie, Megan and Joseph. Everyone was excited and ready to start the day. I quickly gave a run down on what we were going to do and we loaded up, donned life jackets and off we went.
We went straight to the Rock Garden, dropped anchor, readied our gear and in we went. From the very start I could tell this was going to be another great group. It didn’t take them long to get ready and they could swim like fish! Just great!!!The minute we got in we were surrounded by parrotfish, surgeonfish, doctor fish, porkfish, pinfish, grunts, snappers, wrasse, menhaden and hundreds of tropical fish too numerous to mention. We saw some barracudas, snook and large houndfish chasing menhaden with blue runners quickly following. It was wonderful to see so many fish in such shallow water and as usual the visibility was almost perfect.
We swam from spot to spot chasing fish, catching hermit crabs, finding queen conchs and looking for “treasures”. We covered almost every square inch, stopping here and there to check out something new, answer questions and look for more. It was non stop fun for two hours and we finally headed back to the boat for some snacks and drinks and take a quick breather. The wind was out of the west today and the ocean flat calm so we pulled anchor and decided to motor around the south jetty and park right next to the beach. What a great decision that was!!!
We didn’t even have a chance to drop anchor before we spotted two large manatees coming right towards us. They stopped in three feet of water not far from the boat and just laid there and nibbled algae off each others backs for half an hour. We had such a fabulous time watching them from 3 feet away. You just wanted to swim up and kiss one! Well actually, both of them! They didn’t even mind that we were there watching and smiling the whole time. It just doesn’t get any better than that!!!, and boy were we lucky to have that opportunity in crystal clear water! What a way to start the first day!!! Right on!!!
A while later they swam into deeper water and we spent some time swimming along the shoreline looking for shells and watching juvenile permit and pompano search for sand fleas in the shallows. We just could not have had a more wonderful first day than this! With only a short time left we loaded up, motored to the sand bar and searched for fighting conchs, mantis shrimp and what ever else we could discover. We found both Florida and West Indian fighting conchs and watched as many were laying eggs. We found one conch that was extremely beautiful! Instead of being solid orange or dark brown inside, it had a pure white interior that was outlined in bright purple.
Absolutely gorgeous! I have never seen one like this before, really a nice discovery! Everyone took a look, then we put it back where we found it and swam back to the boat. It was time to go, and I can tell you nobody wanted to head home yet! I had heard it all before, ” AdventureMike, why can’t your camp last till 3 or 5 instead of 1, why do we have to go back so soon?” Oh boy, I still haven’t come up with a good answer for that…. and most of the time I don’t want to go back either. Oh well…
All of us had such a wonderful time! You could see it in our smiles and hear the excitement in our voices! We just couldn’t wait to do it all over again! Each one of us was looking forward to tomorrow! We just can’t wait!!!
Stay tuned….. We are going to have some fun!!! I can guarantee it!!! Right on!!!
Welcome Back All, I just finished up the third day of this weeks adventure session and I just don’t think it gets any better than this!!! There just wasn’t enough hours in the day for us to do all we wanted. Every place we went and everything we did was an absolute blast and we [...]
Welcome Back All,
I just finished up the third day of this weeks adventure session and I just don’t think it gets any better than this!!! There just wasn’t enough hours in the day for us to do all we wanted. Every place we went and everything we did was an absolute blast and we all had fun like their was no tomorrow! I was joined by three more new adventurers today, AdventureAlgis, Linas and Paulius, all the way from the Republic of Lithuania, a country on the southeast shores of the Baltic Sea sharing borders with Latvia to the north, Belarus to the southeast, Poland, and the Russian exclave of the Kaliningrad Oblast to the southwest. Talk about adventurers, not only could these boys swim, they knew how to travel and even spoke a few words of English. So we got along great! And one thing they knew for sure was how to have fun, and they came to the right summer camp! I can guarantee that! With AdventureDavid and Dina from Hungary and Adventure Algis, Linas and Paulius from Lithuania my summer camp, AdventureMike’s, has gone international, and it has been Fabulous!!! From here on out, the skies the limit. Right on!
With AdventureAlgis, Linas and Paulius joining AdventurersJason, Jordyn, Christopher, Trevor, Gunner, Jagger, Michael and Chaz I had a full boat load, and I knew I was going to have my hands full! I knew this would not be a problem though, I am well seasoned by now after months like this! This is a great group of kids, knows how to swim, and DEFINITELY knows how to have fun!!! And that makes my job easy, at least on days like today!
We decided we would head straight for Little Munyon Island to do some seine netting while the tide was still low. AdventureJason, Jordyn, Michael, Gunner, Trevor and Jagger took turns pulling the seine net thru the shallows while AdventureAlgis, Linas and Paulius went snorkeling with AdventureChaz looking for starfish, sea urchins and large sea grass hermit crabs.
By the time we were finished seine netting the adventurers had found juvenile barracudas, hogsnappers, striped grunts, caesar’s grunts, french grunts, small mouth grunts, tomtates, pinfish, porkfish, mutton snappers, yellowtail snappers, gray snappers, mojarras, filefish, pufferfish, pipefish and even a few scorpionfish which we were careful not to touch. These were just a few of the many “treasures” we discovered. While we were having fun doing this, my Lithuanian Adventurers were discovering all sorts of cool things besides just starfish, hermit crabs and sea urchins. They saw eagle rays, crevalle jacks and even a pile of small lobster under a rock in 3 feet of water. Now that’s having FUN!!!, especially when you are from Lithuania!!! I could hear their excited voices all the way back to the boat! I was loving it!
We went to Big Munyon Island for a really cool island hike, checked out the estuary for finger mullet, the backside of the island for horseshoe crabs and hermit crabs, the wild coffee and knickerbean plants scattered about, and we even checked under the rooftop of the picnic area to find 2 different type nests of 2 distinct species of mud dobber wasps. One type built a group of single family nests while the other built condos. Just like us. Now that was cool to see! We walked back along the beach to the boat and headed to the sandbar to swim in the Big Hole. Along the way. we stopped at Starfish Prairie, picked up a few very large Cushion Seastars to show the group, released them, and off we went.
We arrived at the Deep Hole along the sandbar and the water was perfect! Just the right depth and perfectly clear! The way we love it! It was full of menhaden and the snook and small barracudas were having a feast. The menhaden would spray out of the water trying to get away from the hungry fish below while the terns and sea gulls were having a feast from above. There was action in every direction and we were loving it. We checked out the West Indian and Florida fighting conchs laying eggs and found that the West Indian species out numbered the Florida species by about 3 to 1. Along the way, AdventureJordyn found the smallest Beaded Sea Starfish I have ever seen. It wasn’t a half inch in width. They are not just uncommon around here, they are downright rare, and to find one this size, unbelievable! I thought it was great, and the coolest thing was that the smallest adventurer aboard would find the smallest beaded starfish I will probably ever see my whole life. Now that’s neat, and I have searched alot!
After this we went to the Rock Garden, dropped anchor and got in. And low and behold what did we see? That’s right, thousands,and I mean thousands of fish in every direction! One of the best days ever! And how was the visibility? That’s right, crystal clear! It just doesn’t get any better than this! We watched hundreds of blue runners and snook eat menhaden till their hearts, and stomachs content. All within inches of our masks. Just great! AdventureMichael, Gunner, Trevor, Jagger, Christopher and Jason caught all kinds of swimming crabs, blue crabs, seaweed blennies and hermit crabs, while AdventureJordyn, Linas, Chaz and Paulinus were content swimming amongst the tropical fish and watching parrotfish, surgeonfish and spotail pinfish graze on the algae covered rocks.
By now we had only 45 minutes left so we climbed in the boat, had a quick snack and some drinks, and decided to head out to the beach since the ocean was as calm as a swimming pool. We drove around the south jetty and dropped anchor a few hundred yards down the beach 10 feet from shore. The water was crystal clear, the beach full of shells and hundreds of juvenile pompano and permit were feeding on sand fleas in 3 inches of water. We were loving it all! The days just don’t get any better than this! Blue skies, clear calm seas, thousands of fish and a great group of adventurers enjoying their day. Now that’s living!!!
When it was time to go, you know, not one of us was ready to call it quits. And especially my group of Lithuanian Adventurers. Even they, with there limited knowledge of English, let me know they wanted to stay longer! And they sure knew how to say FUN while they were having it!!! Today was one of those truly blessed days and even though AdventureAlgis, Linus and Palius spent only one day with me, I know they will never forget it! When we arrived back at the dock and I heard them excitedly talking to their mom about the day I knew things just didn’t get any better than this! I knew every one of us had fun today! And the best thing about it all, there is one more day of ADVENTURE and I just can’t wait till tomorrow!!!
Its fishing day!!! And you know what that means!!! We’re going to have fun, catch fish and live the adventure!!! We’re going to have some FUN!!! Right On!!! God, I love my job!!! Yippee!!!!
Hi All, I just finished up the days fishing camp adventure session and let me tell you WE HAD FUN TODAY!!! Today was our weekly fishing day and we set an all time record that may never be beaten!!! We started the day going to the Deep Hole to cast net bait. Two throws later [...]
I just finished up the days fishing camp adventure session and let me tell you WE HAD FUN TODAY!!! Today was our weekly fishing day and we set an all time record that may never be beaten!!! We started the day going to the Deep Hole to cast net bait. Two throws later our livewell was filled to the brim with hundreds of menhaden. These would help augment the 3 lbs of fresh cut up squid that I had gotten ready earlier. Little did I know then what an unbelievable day we were going to have!!!! As I sit here and write about it I know nobody is going to believe me but it is all true!
I knew I was going to be busy today so I was joined by two great friends to help give me a hand, AdventureMatt, who I love like my own son, and his girlfriend Michelle who I love dearly too. Matt was going to help me bait the hooks and take off the fish and Michelle was going to help wash the boat down as things got fishy. All this seemed simple enough to me on the way to my secret spot along the artificial reef. Just how confusing could things get anyway?
Well we arrived at my GPS numbers and AdventureMatt dropped anchor. When the anchor came taught we were about 15 feet from where I really wanted to be, didn’t seem like much so we baited the hooks and sent them down. After about 1 minute I knew things were wrong. We only had 2 bites, not the non stop action I expected and had in the past. We motored up and pulled anchor and moved 15 feet further to the north, right over the 12 foot drop off where my fish finder was marking fish by the hundreds. We re-baited the hooks and let them down and from that second on, my day was only a blur!!! Instantly, and I mean INSTANTLY everyone had a fish on. AdventureJason, Jordyn, Brian, Carolyn, and Dakota caught fish faster than I have ever seen, and I mean EVER SEEN!!! Like in my whole life of fishing!
I could not count 3 seconds between the time their bait hit bottom and a fish eating it! All AdventureMatt, Michelle and I heard for 4 non stop hours was, “I NEED MORE BAIT!!!, I NEED MORE BAIT!!!” That was coming from 5 different directions all at once and it never stopped! We couldn’t even think about wiping up anything. Even AdventureMichelle was taking fish off the line non stop and re-baiting hooks! With all the bait previously cut up and in buckets in 3 different spots on the boat, we could never catch up!! Three seasoned adults could not keep up with my 5 adventurers today!!! We could not keep bait on the hooks or take fish of them fast enough. I have never see
action like this in my life! I may never again!
AdventureCarolyn, Brian , Dakota, Jason and Jordyn caught everything from mangrove snappers, mutton snappers, yellowtail snappers, lane snappers, schoolmaster snappers, red groupers, black groupers, caesar’s grunts, french grunts, striped grunts, white grunts, smallmouth grunts, tomtates, cottonwicks, spottail pinfish and one lonely scorpionfish! We had one truly monsterous Barracuda on that ate a large yellowtail snapper, that not only ate the snapper, but the 20 inches of wire leader that was attached to it also, right up past the swivel to cut us off. A mighty impressive fish! Looked much bigger around then my leg, kinda like a swimming telephone pole with some razor sharp and snaggled toothed dentures!!! That one line from “JAWS” came to mind. “WE NEED A BIGGER BOAT!”. I’ll never forget that!
AdventureCarolyn was going to quit fishing after she caught, (and we all counted) 50 fish because her arm was tired and her hand hurt, but I talked her into trying to make 61 instead. I said, “when are you ever going to catch fish like this again?” keep fishing, and she did! And she made it to 61, and when she got there I said now go for 70!!!, just thinking that can’t be possible! She said if she got to 70, “THAT”, was definitely going to be IT! Well you guessed it, she made it to 70 and I was only able to talk her into catching one more. So, she stopped at 71 fish caught all by herself and took her first break of the day! AdventureDakota and Jason had to catch over 50 fish each themselves, some of those nice groupers and yellowtail snappers, and AdventureBrian caught close to that many himself! AdventureJordyn stopped at around 30 and spent the rest of the day handing bait out of the bucket to help Matt, Michelle and I to try and catch up. What a day it was!!! I will never hear the words, “I need more bait” without thinking of this day.
I know well over 200 fish were brought in the boat. I can’t even begin to guess how many we had on besides that. It was amazing how moving the boat only 15 feet made this difference. I have no idea what made the action so extra special, or what made the fish bite like they did, but I know one thing for sure, not one of these adventurers will ever forget this day, and neither will Matt, Michelle or I!!!
We had fun!!! We had a blast!! ! We had a once in a lifetime day!!! And we all had a story to tell!!! It may sound like a “fish story” to some, but we all know differently! WE LIVED THE ADVENTURE!!! And if you saw the smiles on the faces that I did today, you will never forget it!!! Thank you !!!
God, I love my job!!!! How can we have this much fun!!! I must still be dreaming…